Using sticky notes on a wall to promote dialogue about a school’s purpose

  I’m not sure this works for adults – hence my go at this for my staff but I can see this as a hit for students as they review their inquiry topic. I will post the wallwisher link for those interested in exploring this. The log on and account creation… Read more“Using sticky notes on a wall to promote dialogue about a school’s purpose”

assessment for learning

At last weeks leadership meeting we struggled for some time with the question how to best use the latest assessments we had of students mathematical understandings. During March we had all our 350  Prep – Year Four students individually tested using this new online version of the Mathematics Interview. Using… Read more“assessment for learning”

TIMMS test results spark controversy

This past fortnight I have talked about my schools performance on national tests to school council [NAPLAN] and now I’ve seen lots of editorials and responses in newspapers about Australia’s performance in the recent international tests in maths and science for years 4 and 8 students called TIMMS. Kevin Donnelly wrote in… Read more“TIMMS test results spark controversy”

School is about more than tests

  I have just spent some time this week with school council looking at our year 5 student results for this years national tests [NAPLAN]. I publish the performance data of year 3 and 5 students on these tests each year in the school newsletter.  This group, when compared to previous… Read more“School is about more than tests”

Student transitions from year to year

Today whilst hearing about the Departments latest version of the school review I had one of those light bulb moments when I heard a school reviewer talk about student transitions. To put this into context in Victoria all public schools have a school review every four years. There are various… Read more“Student transitions from year to year”

The Class Size Debate

I was fortunate to meet John Hattie recently who is one academic I often quote in my work. John Hattie is from New Zealand and has been researching amongst other things the effects of various strategies or innovations on student learning. As I start to plan the 2009 school year I… Read more“The Class Size Debate”

Making a difference by Douglas Reeves.

I was fortunate to hear Douglas Reeves for the second time at the recent ACEL conference in Melbourne. He is the founder and chief executive officer of the Center for Performance Assessment, an organization dedicated to improving student achievement and educational equity. In his address and subsequent workshop he made many… Read more“Making a difference by Douglas Reeves.”

School improvement is not unlike peeling an onion – the jouney is layered and may produce tears .

  At most weekly leadership meetings we agenda a discussion on a published research paper distributed and read prior to meeting and this week it was the 90/90/90 Schools: A Case Study article. The article written by two journalists was based on research of some schools in lower socio-economic communities in America that… Read more“School improvement is not unlike peeling an onion – the jouney is layered and may produce tears .”

Maths materials – tools or manipulatives? A walkthrough query.

Readers of my blog will know that we have Michaal Ymer, an educator with a focus on maths, coaching teachers in classrooms. Michael early on in his work with us presented three main messages: students need maths materials to manipulate so that they get a better understanding of concepts – less… Read more“Maths materials – tools or manipulatives? A walkthrough query.”

tests and the Rudd education revolution

Today the Prime Minister of Austalia, Hon Kevin Rudd delivered a speech at the National Press Club on the education revolution. I received a transcript of the speech which for me had several highlights: While Australian schools stand up reasonably well in international comparisons, our competitors are quickly catching up…. Read more“tests and the Rudd education revolution”

“Lessons from the Supreme Tester” by Julia Gillard

  Julia Gillard is reported to have said this month that she was blown away by the works and ideas of Joel Klein, the former Assistant Attorney General of the United States – anti trust division. Mr Klein has been the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education… Read more““Lessons from the Supreme Tester” by Julia Gillard”

Toronto Superintendent Kathy Cowan visits Elsternwick.

On Wednesday 7/8/08 I was honoured to host Kathy Cowan a superintendent of a family of schools [SE6] in Toronto. I first met Kathy at Harvard University in 2006 and again in 2007 in Toronto when I visited a number of the family’s principals. Readers of my blog might remember an earlier post about Spencer, her… Read more“Toronto Superintendent Kathy Cowan visits Elsternwick.”

Get Smart – Open the Classroom Doors!

One of the central themes of the Big Day Out this year was to “get smart and open the classrooms doors” so that instruction, which can often seen as private teacher business, can be seen and improved. Each year Darrell Fraser, the deputy secretary of the Department [DEECD] gathers together all the principals… Read more“Get Smart – Open the Classroom Doors!”

Between Class Difference: Myth or Reality!

This week at our weekly leadership meeting we discussed a research article about an American school who number crunched student achievement over a 3 year period. This article really set us up for the weekly staff meeting where we were investigating the question: If research suggests the greatest variance in student outcomes… Read more“Between Class Difference: Myth or Reality!”

Test scores not the total answer

Thanks to Warrick Wynne I found this, what I call a protest clip on testing that makes an even stronger point on the need for deeper learning, feedback and challenge loops, the value of arts and the need to challenge any report or system that has test scores as the… Read more“Test scores not the total answer”